Churches of Jičín
Religious sanctuaries first and foremost serve the faithful for prayers and services. Church doors are, however, open to visitors who want to admire their architecture and decoration, too.
The parish church of James the Greater (kostel sv. Jakuba) is located very close to the Jičín palace; the buildings are even connected by a covered gallery, which allowed for comfortable passage from the palace to a prayer room for the aristocracy. It was none other than Albrecht von Wallenstein who signed the founding charter. The church was supposed to have four towers and a central dome; due Wallenstein’s death, though, these were never finished. Although, this is not completely true when it comes to the dome, as painter Josef Kramolín created an illusory painting that evokes the existence of a dome.
Visitors can see for themselves. The church is open to public every day from 8 am to 5 pm. Services take place regularly.
St. Ignatius’ church (kostel svatého Ignáce) is a formerly-parish church in the gothic style. Its foundations were probably laid at the same time the town’s foundation, at the turn of the 14th century. It is the oldest building in Jičín. Originally, it was dedicated to St. Jacob (James), but that was changed when Wallenstein let the Jesuit order use it. The church is decorated with paintings of St. Ignatius of Loyola and Virgin Mary donated to the Jesuit order by Russia. There were two fires, followed by reconstruction in renaissance style. The church is actually currently undergoing reconstruction as well; the dome was replaced and the tower has received copper roofing. The church is accessible 30 minutes before services, and in summer throughout the holidays between 10 am and 4 pm.
Virgin Mary de Salle
Virgin Mary de Salle (kostel Panny Marie de Salle), the third of Jičín’s churches, is located by the New Town cemetery. The foundation stone of the church, then still dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was laid by the rector of Jičín Jesuit college on the authorisation of Cardinal Arnošt Harrach in 1629. A nice little titbit is that the parents of Bedřich Smetana, the famous Czech composer, were wedded in this church in 1820.
All Saints’ church (kostel Všech svatých) stands on the foothill of Zebín and is the only remnant of a medieval village that was dissolved on the command of Albrecht von Wallenstein. A small walled graveyard surrounds the church. As it has no bell tower, a wooden tower stands by it. Locals have renewed the tradition of ringing the bell every Sunday and holiday at noon.